Do you believe your electric and gas bills are too high? Know these facts before considering a 3rd party energy supplier.
What Is a 3rd Party Energy Supplier?
A 3rd party energy supplier buys energy in bulk and resells it to residential customers. There are several types of scams they use to separate you from your hard-earned money. One of the easiest to be taken by is the door-to-door sales scam. In states where the energy markets have been deregulated, 3rd party power providers can sell door-to-door. They make the occupants aware of their rights to choose a different power provider. They then ask if the occupants want to switch.
In some cases, this can actually be a benefit allowing you to purchase electricity at a lower price than your current utility provider. You may also have the opportunity to purchase renewable energy without buying solar panels. Sometimes, however, it's not a good idea, because they use underhanded tactics to convince you to switch.
Things to remember to protect yourself:
- If you feel pressured by the tactics they use, it's probably a scam.
- If they act angry, or you feel threatened, there's definitely a problem.
- Don't give anyone money that's untraceable like prepaid debit cards, money orders or cashier's checks.
- Never let anyone see your utility bills. They can use your account number to sign you up for services you didn't choose - services that come with huge rate hikes.
Is It Worth the Switch?
It can certainly save you money under the right circumstances, but be very wary. Rates can look inexpensive while you're listening to the sales pitch, but many customers, once locked into a contract, encounter rate hikes right after they sign up. In many cases, these rates can turn out to be as much as twice what the customers' original rates were.
If you want to do more to protect the planet, switching may be for you. You might be able to shop around and find a green energy provider that suits you.
Why Do These Companies Exist?
Third-party energy suppliers exist to offer alternative options to coal and nuclear power, such as solar panels and other green energy. While using coal for energy depletes the Earth, solar panels are so expensive that most people cannot afford them.
The verdict is that both paths have pros and cons. It's up to you to go with your beliefs and make a decision on which route you will take. Remember, though, that it's difficult to tell the difference between the unsavory and reputable 3rd party energy suppliers. So be careful. Third-party energy suppliers are not present in all states, and in some apartment complexes, there are no other energy options but 3rd party suppliers.
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